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CAMP CAPINPIN, Tanay, Rizal – A 20-minute firefight erupted on Tuesday afternoon when soldiers and police raided a communist terrorist hideout in Brgy Abuyon, San Narciso, Quezon.

The military said that soldiers from the 85th Infantry Battalion and San Narciso municipal police station engaged around 15 communist NPA terrorists after responding to reports from concerned citizens.

According to Lieutenant Colonel Emmanuel Cabahug, Commanding Officer of 85IB, who is directly supervising the military operations in the area that the NPAs were under a certain Joseph Delos Santos alias Ken/Bingot, a notorious former member of the Special Partisan Unit or SPARU, who is also believed to be the mastermind of numerous communist atrocities that were perpetrated in Quezon Province in the past.

Brigadier General Norwyn Romeo P Tolentino, Commander of the 201st Infantry Brigade which has operational jurisdiction over the area, said that his forces recovered three M16 rifles with magazines, ammunition, IED components, and other personal effects which the fleeing terrorists left behind.

He added that there were no casualties on the part of our soldiers while the casualty count among the NPAs are being validated by the troops who are still conducting pursuit operations.

BGen Tolentino further stated that the success of the military campaign in his area is due to “the overwhelming support and the active collaboration of the Local Government Units at all levels in the implementation and operationalization of the Provincial Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict or PTF-ELCAC thereby denying the communist terrorists the space that they need to thrive and further their terroristic plans in this part of the country.”

For his part, Major General Greg T Almerol, Commander of the Philippine Army’s 2nd Infantry (Jungle Fighter) Division, expressed his gratitude to the concerned citizens “who disregarded their personal safety to pass the information to our troops knowing that our society will be better off without atrocities perpetrated by the NPAs.”

He also congratulated the combined forces of soldiers and police “for the display of teamwork and maintaining a seamless relationship in pursuing the much coveted peace for every Filipino while continously protecting them from the evils of terrorism which keeps on hampering our very potential as a nation.”

MGen Almerol ended by calling upon the few remaining NPA terrorists “to turn your backs from armed struggle, surrender, live peacefully with your families, avail government grants through E-CLIP and be part of the solution to the problems that our country is facing because we are already mustering all our resources against any individual or group who continuously sow terror.”

Joint AFP-PNP checkpoints have been established in the area to support the ongoing pursuit operations against the fleeing NPA terrorists.

All available military assets have been placed on high alert.

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